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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Three, four, five

"Nothing that is possible can save us.

We, who are about to die,

demand a miracle."

__W.H. Auden

Impasse. Intransigence. Impossibility.

We seem stuck, really stuck, more stuck than at any time I can remember. We are determined to not work together. Obstruction and obstinence are the order of the day. We're being pulled further apart. We're being broken.

Hannukah is about a miracle. The lights are only for celebrating the miracle but the real Hannukah story is the story of a miracle.

Put simply: not enough became enough.

That's it. There was not enough oil to burn for one day yet it burned for eight, until it was possible to press for olive oil to keep the lamp lit. Not enough became, by some miracle of grace, enough.

It turns out the lights of Hannukah, or Chanukah, are not themselves the point. They witness to the point: the miracle. And the candle lights of Chanukah are not to be used for illumination, per se. They are for our reflection. On the miracle. Of enough. Providing.

It's a good thing because three candles didn't do much for me. Couldn't read by that light. Nor four. And now, with barely five, it's getting better. I suppose. I'm not actually trying to use them.

The lights shine on the window sill in the dark night so the world around can see and marvel at the miracle: enough. There was enough.

So that I can see and marvel at the miracle: enough. There was enough.

We who are about to die, of poverty, war, greed, disease, hate, demand a miracle. Nothing that is possible --- our efforts, our failed attempts --- can save us.

I look at the five lights burning in the darkness tonight and think: miracle.

Hope. It can happen. Wisdom and light from on high. So be it.


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